Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sleep and Weekly Goals

Last week was not my favorite. The transition back to work has been rough. It was 100 times easier last time (in April) for two reasons: Max actually slept at night (#1 reason) and I already knew my students and was coming back to them so I wasn't teaching all the routines and procedures of the beginning of the year, and trying to get to know my students and their parents. It actually makes me sad that this class doesn't know Max at all… I almost miss how much students would interrupt my lesson to say, "so, how's Max doing?" But really, the time, energy and mental effort involved in the beginning of kindergarten is not for the sleep deprived person. 

Max has decided he no longer sleeps through the night. At first, he just woke up, had a quick snack and was back to sleep. I didn't love it, but I figured he must be hungry and at least it was a quick wake up (though it always takes me awhile to get back to sleep). The past two weeks though, it's more like wake up, take a sip of milk, decide he's not hungry, try to play, test out new crawling skills, maybe pull up on the side of crib, cry for mom, try to play, cry for mom again, etc. Blah, I know I have to sleep train but my one attempt went horrible and no amount of ignoring crying in kindergarten can prepare you for listening to your baby scream in the next room. 

Good thing he is cute. 

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Last week's goals were to walk or swim every night and to control my media use by avoiding the computer after Max was asleep and deleting the Facebook app on my phone. I did great with goal #1, I walked every single night even the nights that I swam. This won't be one of my goals this week but I'm sure I will do it again as it's really just the best thing for our whole family. My media use was okay- I did go on the computer a couple of times after Max was asleep, simply because I had to do something for work or pay a bill etc. I forgot that some days that is really my only opportunity to get on the computer between work and taking care of Max. Even still, I had no problem shutting it off to go to bed early, so that's good. I kept the Facebook app off my phone all week, but I did have a few instances where I went to the website… still that had to be more intentional than just clicking on the app so, I think I'll probably keep the app off my phone for now and see if I can kind of slowly make myself less dependent. 

Goals for Week of 9/14

1. Read more. It's so hard to fit in, but I'm always happier when I do. Try to get 50% of the way through my new book: The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Meyes

2. Train Max to go to bed without falling asleep nursing. It's going to stink but that's the first step in training this baby not to wake up to play in the middle of the night. I'm going to start on Thursday so I only have 1 more day to get through of work, and hopefully by the next Monday things won't be super terrible. Then in a few weeks I'll tackle the middle of the night wake ups (unless they stop, which would be even better). 

And here is your unsolicited advice from me this week. #1- don't have kids, #2- don't teach kindergarten and #3- if you don't listen to me about 1 or 2, please at least don't do both. Thank me later :)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saving Sanity and Weekly Goals

I'm really liking these weekly goals- if nothing else, it forces me to blog once a week. Ha ha. I survived the first week of school, didn't actually have students but sitting through training all day is definitely a special kind of torture, so survival is an accomplishment. Max did pretty well with my first week of work. He wasn't big on napping but that's not too different from the norm...

I did well with my goals last week. I took a walk every night and I turned off my computer by 9… well sometimes 9:20, but definitely earlier than I was before so I consider that a win. The nightly walks are a sanity saver for our whole family and we even managed to walk in a few different places this week which was fun. Below is a photo of the reservoir near my house which is definitely an old favorite walking location. According to my Fitness Magazine that I was reading on the elliptical the other day, you really only need to take 4-5, 30 minute walks per week for health purposes. If you want to lose weight, obviously you need to do more but it's good to know that in this season (of life) where sometimes the workouts happen and sometimes they don't, I'm really not sacrificing my health at all. I mean sure, these magazines most likely make up stats and you can find a study to back up basically any claim but, I'm just going to call it a win for now and not question it. 

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Here are some other sanity savers I've been trying out: doing all prep for the morning in advance (picking out clothes, packing lunches, packing insane number of bags I need these days), planning with Eric for the week in advance including who will pick up Max, who will work out when, what we are eating for dinner etc, grocery shopping every 2 weeks with a small Trader Joe's run on the "off" week. I'm currently loving all of these things, so let's hope I am motivated to keep them up. 

When I look ahead to this upcoming week, I'm going to continue to focus on sanity savers. Unfortunately Max is in a really bad sleep phase at the moment. As a result, I really need to focus on taking care of myself so that I can function on far less sleep than I am used to/need. Also I have to deal with 23 kindergarten kids all day starting tomorrow. Sigh. 

Goals for Week of 9/7:

1. Continue nightly walks or other exercise (swimming counts, so does strollerblading if we get motivated to do that).

2. Decrease technology use, specifically: delete FB app from phone, read or go to bed after Max is asleep.

 

And on that note, Max is asleep so I should be turning off my computer. I hope everyone had a great weekend! 

 

 

 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekend, Goals for Week 1 of a New School Year

I hope everyone is having a lovely long weekend. I am soaking up this last bit of family time before I return to work on Tuesday. On Friday we decided to visit one of the Boston Harbor Islands called Spectacle Island. It actually used to be a dump until the Big Dig covered up all the trash only about 15 years ago. We got an early start on the day and ended up having the island almost to ourselves. Plus, the USS Constitution which only sails a few times a year happened to be sailing, so we got a perfect view of it. 

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Also, Eric's brother got married over the weekend- so I gained a sister this weekend :) They were supposed to get married next September, but they decided to do a small ceremony yesterday and then have the party next year. Funny story: I called it a "shotgun" wedding until I realized that means the girl is pregnant so they rush the wedding… OOPS! Don't get me wrong I wouldn't be sad if that was the case, ha ha, but I thought it just meant a wedding that was planned quickly. 

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As I mentioned last week, I'm trying to do weekly goals now. Last week I wanted to take Max to do something new (see Spectacle Island, above) and an old favorite (we went to Walden Pond twice and we visited my grandmother). I also wanted to write short "To Do" lists each day. I did this 3 of the days, so not bad. I also tried doing a little social media break on Sunday. I caved a bit while trying to put Max down for a nap and went on Instagram, but overall it's something I will be doing again. 

This week is going to be a crazy one as I go back to work tomorrow. My students aren't starting until next week but I have a training and lots of meetings this week. It's going to be a complicated week of figuring out when to pump and where to pump (the training is at another school) and also trying to get my classroom ready. My goals? 

1. Go for a walk every day. (We usually do this already but want to make sure it happens this week.)

2. Turn off the computer by 9 every night. 

I hope everyone has a nice week! It's going to be HOT here, so I guess mother nature is not ready to say bye to summer either! 

 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Max: 7 Months

7 months is not an age I thought much about. I worried a lot about the newborn days, and reaching that 1 month mark. I thought a lot about 3 months, when I would return to work. Since I thought Max would be born in February, I thought a lot about 6 months, when I believed Max would start attending day care. I had my goal in my mind that we would make it to 6 months breastfeeding and then I'd be done. But like everything when it comes to having a baby, nothing went as expected. Max was born a month early, making him 7 months now. I'm still breastfeeding and now hope to for a year. And Max will be spending the year with my mom and won't go to daycare until he is more like 19 months (an age I can't even fathom at this point). 

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While I didn't think much about 7 months ahead of time, now that it's here, I kinda love it. Max is a happy guy. 

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This month for Max was filled with many great adventures and lots of play dates. It's easy to celebrate his day trip to Provincetown, or his even more epic day trip to Nantucket. 

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Max even went strollerblading one day!IMG 7397

Max has continued to impress me with his ability to adapt to his mom and dad's ridiculous plans for the day. I shouldn't even say adapt… Max LOVES being out and about as much as we do. 

Sometimes in motherhood I get bogged down with the day to day. The adventures are fun, but sometimes the "oh, you need to eat/sleep/get your diaper changed again" thing gets old. Especially on the day when he just wants to fight me instead of actually eating, sleeping or get his diaper changed. It can feel like I've spent the whole day trying to get him to eat or sleep. But, there is a lot of fun in the routine too. The photos below were taken on a day when Max fell asleep in the car and therefore refused to take an afternoon nap soon later, ha. IMG 7334

My other favorite part of the average day is walk time. Max is a super grump after dinner if we try to just hang out. So we go for walks instead. One day it was raining and none of us had rain gear at the Cape, so obviously Eric just made Max a poncho out of a plastic bag. 

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Max loves walking on the beach and now that we are home, he is probably thinking "wait a sec…" 

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The fact that Max can sit up now has really improved his ability to play independently. He enjoys sitting on the rug and just playing with his toys or looking at books now. It's amazing how much I can accomplish in the ten minutes or so Max will play by himself. If I want to stretch it out a bit, all I have to do is use whatever I'm doing in a game of Peekaboo. Both dishes and laundry are very useful to "hide" behind. When Max and I play together, he enjoys trying to eat the book as I read it, and also having me stack up a tower and then he knocks it down. What more can you ask for? 

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Likes: Max still loves everything I mentioned in his six month post and probably five for that matter. He also loves bath toys particularly if they squirt water at him. He loves being outside: going for walks or runs with us, swinging on the swings, riding on boats, just people watching in general. 

Dislikes: Max dislikes getting into his car seat. He has learned that he can stop me from putting him in (temporarily) by locking his legs in a straight position. Of course, I always win this battle but he hasn't figured that out yet. He is also starting to become more concerned about things like loud noises and falling backwards (while sitting), which used to not bother him at all. 

Sleeping: It's always a work in progress but it seems to be in a relatively good phase now. Bedtime around 8pm, wake up anywhere between 6 and 7. 2-3 naps a day of varying length and times, but a pretty reliable 8:30-10 nap in the AM. 

Eating: Max loves food and eating. His solid food eating times resemble a college student: breakfast at 10:30am, lunch at 3pm and dinner at 7pm. He continues to love pears, sweet potato and chicken, and yogurt. He usually nurses at 7am, 11:30am, 4:30pm and 7:45pm plus when he goes down for naps. I have no idea how this is all going to play out when I go back to work next week. In theory I should only have to pump at 11:30am, but I'm not sure how much milk he actually drinks before naps and if that will equal another pumping session. We shall see. 

 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

On Goal Setting

As you may remember, before I had Max I used to set monthly goals. I know goals are not for everyone, but for me they help me stay focused on things I want to accomplish. A lot of times, they help me incorporate something fun or focus on something I'd probably forget about otherwise. I still get annoyed like everyone else when I have to create artificial goals at work with all sorts of rules that end up making something I don't care about at all. But when left to my own devices, I love goals and they work for me. It helps that I try to keep them fun, and don't get upset if I don't meet them. 

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I have been on and off with actually setting goals lately. I've slipped into a pattern where if I have too much stress I eliminate the goals to take pressure off myself. Maybe that's the wrong way to go. 

Eric starts school tomorrow. I have a classroom to get ready and a year to prepare for. I have one last week to enjoy uninterrupted time with Max. I have every reason in the world to just worry about goals later. Which is why I'm choosing to worry about them now. For the rest of August, and all of September I'm going to try to write one or two weekly goals and see how I like it. 

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August 24-August 30th

1. Take Max to do something new. Take Max to an old favorite. 

2. Write a "To Do" list each day. Each list will have 5 items or less. 

Do you write out goals for yourself? 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Unknown

You knew this post was coming right? The night of July 31st I went to bed and had my first "back to school" nightmare. It involved having 40+ kids in my class while my other K teacher friends had 10. With that I welcomed the month of August. The Sunday of Summer. The infamous month of the August breakdown. I think I'm at my quota for breakdowns in the year 2014 so I'm going to try to ward off a complete flip out by just admitting it: I'm kind of freaking out. 

I thought that since I've already been back to work for 2 months as a "working mom" I wouldn't be as worried about going back in September. But, when I went back to school in April I was really just in survival mode. I basically had enough time to see how incredibly hard it was, but not enough time to come up with solutions to make it less impossible. Plus, I freak out every August, so clearly this year was going to be no exception. 

Here is a little of my current concerns/worries: 

1. It's going to be a lot harder to leave Max now that he is older. I actually left him more often as a newborn than I do now. Plus, he will actually probably know I'm gone now. 

2. Max has decided to start waking up in the middle of the night again. I'm sure he is just doing this to freak me out before school starts again. But still. 

3. I am so worried about what my class of 23 and counting kids are going to be like. Last year I had a pretty easy group and I still felt massively overwhelmed trying to get everything done in the limited time I have at work now. How in the world am I going to do it when I have a harder group?!

4. Plus, what if they are just crazy? 

5. What if their parents are crazy? 

6. What if Max never takes a nap because I can't nurse him to sleep? 

7. What if I don't have enough time to get all my kids names on things before open house? 

8. Should I sign Max up for swimming lessons? I have always looked forward to doing swim lessons with my baby ever since I taught them… but are they going to mess up his naps? Am I going to wake up and actually move on a weekend morning after doing it all week? Will it just add an obligation to an already too full schedule? Or will I be super bored and want to take him to swimming? I. DON'T. KNOW. 

9. When am I going to work out? Will I ever work out again? 

10. What am I going to take for lunch? 

So… clearly I'm super calm right now. I know logically it will all be fine and if any one of these things are not fine, worrying about it is not going to help. So make me stop. Thank you. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Things I'm Loving Right Now

This post idea was shamelessly stolen from Caroline. But mine will not be as beautiful and artistic as hers. Perhaps I can make it up to you with a cute photo of Max in his first restaurant high chair with BFF Teddy? See below. 

Did everyone have a good weekend? The weather was so gorgeous here. We had tons of visitors this weekend including both friends and family. It was super fun, but of course Max was super off schedule and so now I am exhausted and ready for a recovery week. Hopefully Max will agree. 11b

 

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Here are a few things I'm currently loving:  

The Ice Bucket Challenge- Have you heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge? It was started by BC alum Pete Frates to raise awareness of ALS. Basically, the idea is, if you get nominated you have to dump a bucket of ice water on your head (and video tape it and post to social media) and then nominate more people to do the same. If you don't want to dump the water on your head, you are supposed to donate to ALS research instead. I truly think the idea is AWESOME. Apparently, donations are way up and it's definitely raising awareness because I learned more about ALS than I ever knew in the past few days. As an added bonus, it has provided me with endless entertainment over the past few days. Suddenly putting Max down for a nap means watching one hilarious video after another. Plus, Eric and I did a joint video and then nominated Max, so he got to participate. I'm pretty sure he was ready to trade us in for new parents, but some day he will appreciate our sense of humor. 

What I Instagrammed vs. What is Really Happening

Waze App- Although I was introduced to this app awhile ago, i have just started to regularly use it now and I'm in love. Basically, it's a navigation app but it's so much better than regular GPS. It reads traffic patterns and reroutes you so that you get your destination as fast as possible. It also warns you about police officers and construction. The reason why it is so great is because it depends on other people using the app, so someone in the car 3 minutes ahead of you on the road is basically giving you up to date information. 

Elise Get's Crafty: Say No To Say Yes- As I have mentioned, I do not excel in the area of saying no. This podcast has helped me start to look at saying no as a way to say yes to other things. I have it bookmarked to listen to again right before school starts. 

What do you currently love?